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Process for Award of EACOP Construction License Starts :: Uganda Radionetwork

Process for Award of EACOP Construction License Starts

East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) Ltd at the beginning of July applied for a construction license from the governments of Uganda and Tanzania.
27 Aug 2022 15:36
Martin-Tiffen General-Manager-East-African-Crude-Oil-Pipeline-Project-EACOP-receives-ESIA-certificate-from-Dr.-Tom-Okurut-ED-NEMA

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The Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa has commenced the process that will lead to the award of a construction license for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).  

East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) Ltd at the beginning of July applied for a construction license from the governments of Uganda and Tanzania.  

Section 12 of the Petroleum (refining, conversion Transmission, and storage) Act requires the government to carry out public hearings on such projects before a decision is taken on whether allow the construction.   Nankabirwa on Friday gazetted the notice for application license East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) Ltd.

The notice according to Nankabirwa applies to about 296 kilometers of the pipeline on the Uganda side starting from Kabale in Hoima up to Mutukula border with Tanzania.   

Nankabirwa’s notice was also in compliance with the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) Special Provisions Act 2021.   The underground heated pipeline EACOP will traverse the districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera, and Rakai in Uganda. It is expected to cost about US$3.6bn.

According to Nankabirwa, directly affected parties and local authorities in the areas set to host the pipeline who object to the grants of the license for the construction of the pipeline whether for personal or environmental or other reasons have thirty days to lodge an objection to her office.   

The law gives the Ministry up to 180 days to take a decision to issue or reject the issuance of the construction license. 

Honey Malinga, Director of the Directorate of Petroleum at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says that they expect to come up with a decision before the end of the year.   

According to Malinga, a number of public hearings will be carried out in the districts where the pipeline will traverse.

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Asked whether there is a possibility of the Ministry of Energy rejecting the award of the construction license, Malinga said it will depend on the issues that will come out of the public hearing.  

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The National Environment Management Authority in early December 2020 approved the Environment, Social Impact Assessment report and awarded a certificate for the EACOP project.

Similar approvals had been made by the Authorities in Tanzanian I which will host the largest part of the pipeline.  

The Director General of Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) of Tanzania, Modestus Martin Lumato was recently in Uganda and his team and visited some of the places where the pipeline will be laid.  

The Director of Petroleum at EWURA, Eng. Gerald Maganga promised to expedite the process of approval of the construction license from the Tanzanian side. 

The planned construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline has attracted intense criticism by environmentalists alleging that it will hamper the natural ecosystem and may degrade the ecological balance of nature.

They have also alleged that it is likely to displace people from their ancestral land. But the government is going ahead as part of the infrastructure for monetization of the Albertine Oil and gas finds. The value of oil and gas assets in Uganda is estimated at $116b.

The planned pipeline is similar to the one constricted by Carin-Energy in India. The Cairn India’s 684 Km long heated insulated pipeline for crude transportation from the Thar deserts of Rajasthan to the Gujarat coast passes through 270 villages and 34 major rivers. Edinburgh-based Cairn, which previously had to move oil to the refineries by truck, will now be able to sell through the pipeline.

 The EACOP construction will be led by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering and coordinated by Australia’s WorleyParsons Ltd. WorleyParsons Ltd was awarded the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management tender.